Faculty & Adjunct Faculty

Faculty for Summer 2014


KAREN BAKER received a BFA from Wayne State University and an MFA from Southern Methodist University with an emphasis in printmaking, drawing and painting. She is currently Registrar of Loans and Exhibitions at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

ANDRE BALLY received a BS in Landscape Architecture/Design from Texas A&M University with further studies at Sam Houston State University.  He has been working with clay for over 35 years and, having a specific interest in surface textures, has been utilizing sandblasting in his work in Ceramics and Glass for the past 20 years.  Andre’s work can be found on exhibit in private collections in Canada, Europe, North Africa and the United States.

Michelle Belto holds a BA in Education with certifications in Art and Theater, and an MA in Fine Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University. Her work as a performer, educator and visual artist spans more than thirty years, three continents and thirteen publications. Belto is the author of Wax and Paper Workshop, Techniques for Handmade Paper and Encaustic Painting, and two instructional videos on encaustic painting.

KIM BISHOP has a BFA in Commercial Art from Southwest Texas State University and an MA in Gifted and Talented Curriculum from Texas State University. She has been teaching art while practicing art for more than 26 years. Bishop’s works are installations of personal thematic issues in a variety of medium and techniques.

SABRA BOOTH holds a BFA from the University of Houston and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist with recent shows in New York and Germany. Booth also was a Fulbright Scholar to Finland and has been awarded grants by Artpace and by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

JUSTIN BOYD SCULPTURE & INTEGRATED MEDIA DEPARTMENT CHAIRgraduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio with a BFA in Ceramics and finished his MFA in Integrated Media at The California Institute of the Arts. Since returning to Texas in 2006, Boyd has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including the Visual Art Center, Austin; Art Palace, Houston; UTSA Satellite Space and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. In addition, Boyd hosts a radio show each week on KRTU.

Brad Braune received his BA in Architecture from Texas Tech University.  He taught watercolor from 1975-77 as part of the original faculty of the Southwest School of Art. He also teaches watercolor at other local arts institutions and shows locally and nationally.

LIZA COLLINS, born in London, trained as a painter at Northeast London Polytechnic, and later in tapestry at the Royal College of Art. Her tapestries are in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Contemporary Art Society of London. 

Miguel Cortinas received a BFA from Texas A&M University–Kingsville and an MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio.  He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of the Incarnate Word where he teaches drawing, painting, and printmaking.  Miguel’s work is in numerous collections throughout the U.S., including The University of Texas at San Antonio and the AT&T Collection of 20th Century American Art.

MARGARET CRAIG PRINTMAKING DEPARTMENT CHAIR received a BS in Biology, BS in Art and an MA with an emphasis in watercolor painting from the University of Wisconsin.  Her MFA in Printmaking is from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  A leader in non-toxic printmaking technology, she has demonstrated at national conferences. Craig was selected to represent the U.S. in China as part of the Sanbao International Printmaking project.

JENNIFER DATCHUK graduated from the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth with an MFA in Artisanry.  While in school she studied abroad at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, West Africa and at the Sanbao Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. 

Jessica DeCuir has an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from Webster University, St. Louis.  She has taught art courses at San Antonio College since 2000 and at SSA since 1999.  She is a professional artist and musician who has exhibited and performed music nationally and internationally. 

Ric Dentinger, watercolorist, is a contemporary realist who paints traditional subjects. He learned to draw and paint at an early age and was primarily self-taught. Dentinger’s career began as a professional illustrator and art director. He has exhibited in many states throughout the US. Dentinger has been the recipient of many national awards and featured on the cover of Watercolor Artist Magazine.

CAROL DOTIN has been a ceramic artist for over 25 years but became interested in polymer clay as a versatile, affordable, medium about 10 years ago.  Polymer clay workshops and 10 years of experimentation have given her a broad range of knowledge of techniques and applications for jewelry and ceramics.

Todd Fichter earned his BFA in photography from Southwest Missouri State University. Fichter is a full-time graphic designer.  He and his wife Kellie are the primary creative force behind Fishead Design Studio & Microgallery.

Mike Fisher received his BA degree at the University of South Carolina and Master of Communication Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word. Goofa Man Productions is Fisher’s one-man cartooning, illustration and animation studio; and he has been a cartoonist for the former Starlog magazine, as well as Animation Magazine, Modeler's Resource and other publications.  His independent animation work on shorts like Alpha Worm and Invisible Master, among others, have won several awards at film festivals across the country. 

Casey Galloway received a BFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in Denton. A 2007 Kuhlman Foundation scholarship allowed her to travel and research Scandinavian weaving. She is an installation artist as well as a traditional weaver.

CECILIA CASTRO-HANCOCK, native of Mexico, graduated from the University of Our Lady of the Lake of San Antonio with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. She earned a certificate in Ceramics at the Southwest School of Art and has been a ceramic artist for over 25 years. Her work has been in multiple collective and individual exhibits in the USA and Mexico and has been the recipient of several awards. 

DEBORAH HARRISON has been weaving since 1986 and continues to explore new styles and techniques of weaving. She weaves mostly rep rugs but enjoys the occasional diversion of triaxial weaving. Her work has been exhibited nationally and examples of her work have been published in Weavers, the Best of Weaver’s series, and Handwoven. She teaches throughout Texas.

Megan Harrison earned her BFA from Metropolitan State University of Denver and her MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She grew up on the Front Range of Colorado where the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains meet. The experience of growing up in a place where the massive and the expansive lay in dramatic contrast to one another has shaped her aesthetics and art making process.  Megan has received a number of awards and exhibition opportunities, most notably exhibiting work in the San Antonio Draws exhibition at the McNay Museum of Art.

ROBERT HILS FIBER DEPARTMENT CHAIR first gained interest in fiber as an undergraduate working toward a BS in Art Education from the University of Edinboro, PA.  He studied Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont and received a Master Weaver certificate through the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.  Hils’ main area of concentration is weft-faced tapestry weaving. 

Mira Hnatyshyn received a BS at the University of Maryland and an MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally. Hnatyshyn’s work appears in New American Paintings, No. 96 West Issue and her work is included in the Saatchi collection in London and other private collections.

GREGORY ALAN JOHNSON FACULTY & STUDIO MANAGER studied art at San Jacinto Junior College before earning a degree in business at Southwest Texas State University. He earned his BFA with a concentration in Printmaking at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi and an MFA in Printmaking and Drawing at Texas Tech University.

Eléonore Lee is a printmaker and book artist. She began her studies in the UK prior to attending the Art Institute of Chicago on exchange, where she first discovered her love for books and print. After training at the Tamarind Institute, she went to the University of Iowa to pursue an MFA and a Book Arts Certificate. 

MARGUERITE MCCARTHY is a painter, printmaker and graphic designer. She holds a BS in Art Education from Louisiana State University and an MFA in Painting from The George Washington University.  McCarthy has taught art in public and private schools for over twenty years and has conducted art workshops in association with area museums and the SSA for the past twelve years.

MICHELE MONSEAU earned her BFA from Youngstown State University and her MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is a professional working artist exhibiting nationally and internationally, an educator, and founder/director of Three Walls Gallery.  Monseau is a new media instructor at UTSA and also teaches at Palo Alto and St. Philips Colleges. She is a 2014 recipient of an Idea Fund grant and has work in the several area collections.

Lisa Nigroholds an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in Painting from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nigro is an interdisciplinary, multi-media artist working in painting, sculpture, and interactive installation art. She is Adjunct Professor at Houston Community College and teaches in SSA’s Mobile Arts Program.

SARAH PAGONA received her BA from Trinity University with an emphasis in Photography. She is currently a working artist and an art teacher at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

VICTOR PAGONA PHOTOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned his MFA in Photography and Sculpture at the University of South Carolina and his MA in Art History at the University of Wisconsin. His most recent body of work was created using a combination of digital and silver-based media along with other materials.

Jillian Palone Faculty & Metals Studio Manager received her BFA in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University and earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She allows a variety of materials such as metal, resin, paper-clay, wood, rubber and paints to inform her creative process. 

Sarah Robertsreceived her MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University with a secondary emphasis in digital photography.  Her work explores the relationship between art and the human form through the creation of sculpture, photography and video and has been selected for many national exhibitions. She currently lives in San Antonio and is resident artist and co-director of Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery.

Alex Rubio is currently the Mosaic Studio Manager for the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. As an arts organizer, he has instructed and coordinated community-based art programs including Guadalupe Cultural Arts Organization, and San Anto Cultural Arts Organization. As a studio artist, Rubio continues to illustrate and describe past and present life in San Antonio, documenting both cultural and personal experiences in his drawings and paintings. 

RAMIN SAMANDARI has been a fine art photographer for the past 20 years.  He has owned and operated his studio, Magical Realism, since 1998. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is in the permanent collection of San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio.

CHRIS SAUTER earned his BA from the University of the Incarnate Word and an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  He was a 1999 Artpace Artist-in-Resident, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sauter received the SSA 2011 Award for Teaching.

GARY SCHOTT METALS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and his MFA in Metal/Jewelry Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Schott’s work explores human interaction through both sculptural mechanical forms and interactive wearable jewelry. His work is included in Humor in Craft by Brigitte Martin.

DENNIS SMITH CERAMICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received a BFA in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Montana, with postgraduate work at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.  He has exhibited his work in both national and international exhibitions.  Smith's work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Arts and Perception, and Clay Times.

MELANIE LONG STRYBOS received a BS from Texas Christian University.  She freelances as a decorative painter, surface designer and mosaicist, and worked on the restoration of the Empire Theater.  Strybos is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists.

RYAN TAKABA FACULTY & CERAMIC STUDIO MANAGER holds a BFA from University of Hawaii and an MFA in ceramics from Kent State University.  He previously was the Artist-in-Residence/Studio Manager for the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth.  Takaba has also taught at Mudflat Studios and Kent State University.

KATE TERRELL received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from University of Texas at San Antonio. She teaches a variety of art-related subjects including creative dance and lectures about art for adult education. For Terrell, drawing has been a mainstay while making sculptures and paintings throughout her life as an artist.

VINCENT VALDEZ  Drawing & Painting DEPARTMENT CHAIR received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  He has exhibited his work at The Parsons School of Design in Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum, The Seattle Museum of Art and the Mexican Museum in Chicago and has had solo exhibitions at the Southwest School of Art, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art and the Museo Alameda.

LARRY WEST owns and operates Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio.  West has a BA in Art Education from Kent State University and has studied at the Pilchuck Glass School.  He is an art teacher for the Northside Independent School District.

BECK WHITEHEAD PAPER & BOOK ARTS DEPARTMENT CHAIR received a BA from Trinity University and an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Whitehead has taught papermaking workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Pyramid Atlantic, Haystack, and at national conferences.